Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the seventh and final book in "The Chronicles of Narnia" series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

In the fantasy world of Narnia, an ape named Shift convinces his friend Puzzle the donkey to wear a lion skin. Shift pretends that Puzzle is Aslan, and all the talking animals start obeying Shift because they believe he is the servant of Aslan.

King Tirian of Narnia and his best friend, Jewel the unicorn, have heard that Aslan has returned to Narnia. They are overjoyed at the news until they learn that this supposed Aslan is killing the walking trees and enslaving the talking animals. Tirian and Jewel kill two Calormene soldiers who are cutting down the trees, but they feel guilty for it and turn themselves in to receive Aslan's justice. Tirian soon realizes that Shift's alliance with the men of Calormen has nothing to do with the real Aslan, and he prays for help.

Jill and Eustace, English children from our world, suddenly appear and release Tirian from captivity. They gather supplies, disguise themselves as Calormenes and return to free Jewel. Jill also frees Puzzle, who has been held as a prisoner by Shift and the Calormenes. Puzzle is sorry for his role in deceiving the other Narnians, and he and Poggin the dwarf join King Tirian. They all want to free Narnia from the Calormene invasion, but their situation seems hopeless.

Tirian and his companions see the evil Calormene god Tash arrive in Narnia, and then they hear news that Narnia is completely overrun with enemy soldiers. They return to Stable Hill for one final attempt to reveal the truth to the Narnians, and the last battle begins. Tirian loses, and he and his friends are thrown into a stable where Tash is supposed to be waiting. Instead of the inside of a stable at night, Tirian finds himself outdoors in the daylight. Jill, Eustace, and all the friends of Narnia from the previous books, except Susan Pevensie, greet him. They have come to Aslan's country, which means that they have all died.

Aslan's country is beautiful, and the friends of Narnia are all feeling strong and refreshed. Aslan himself greets them and allows them to view the final end of the world of Narnia. They mourn Narnia's loss for a short while, until they discover that Aslan's country contains a bigger, better and eternal version of Narnia. Although the adventures in Narnia have ended, all the people who love Aslan will get to be with him forever, and this new story will have no end.

Christian Beliefs

Aslan is a mighty lion, and his character represents Jesus Christ. Jewel says Aslan is the Maker of the stars. Aslan's country is an equivalent of heaven.

Lucy references Jesus' birth by saying that on Earth, a stable once contained something bigger than the whole world. When Tirian meets the old monarchs of Narnia in Aslan's country, he is said to feel like a person from our world would feel meeting Adam and Eve.

The whole book is an allegory that depicts end times and the experience of death and new life in heaven.

Other Belief Systems

Roonwit the centaur can predict future events from the movements of the stars, and his astrological studies tell him that evil has come to Narnia. The Calormenes serve their evil god Tash. Some Calormene citizens do not really believe in him, but he is shown to exist, and he arrives in Narnia.

Authority Roles

Tirian is a good king and is enraged when he hears that his subjects are being killed. He and Jewel unwisely attack and kill a pair of unarmed Calormenes, and the king is ashamed of his behavior. Tirian says that attacking unarmed men is murder, and he is willing to be executed by Aslan for his wrongdoing. He is kind to Eustace and Jill, and forgives Puzzle for helping bring about Narnia's destruction.

Shift the ape uses his invented authority for his own best interests and has arranged to sell all the talking animals of Narnia into slavery.

Profanity/Violence

A-- is frequently used to refer to Puzzle as a donkey, but not as a profanity. Dwarfs call Calormenes Darkies, a racial epithet.

No blood is visible when a dryad dies in front of Tirian, but her death is implied to be very painful. Her life is tied to a tree, and the tree has been chopped down with an axe. While attacking Calormene soldiers, Tirian beheads one with his sword while Jewel gores another through the heart. Eustace kills a man in battle, almost by accident. The last battle at Stable Hill results in many deaths and injuries.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

None

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Alcohol: Characters drink wine. Shift the ape develops a drinking problem.

Tobacco: Poggin and other dwarfs smoke pipes.

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

8 and up

Author

C.S. Lewis

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

HarperCollins Children's Books, a division of HarperCollins

Released

On Video

Year Published

1956

Awards

Carnegie Medal, 1956

Reviewer